TizU is the second startup effort between cousins Apostolis Lianos and Spiros Xenos, who had realized their collaborative strength from an early age, when they won first prizes in student competitions. This trajectory continued, with numerous digital marketing projects in the last five years, and the duo ending up in startups from the past two years. TizU was the product of their risk and determination, a product that they both liked and believed in, an idea which they were determined to start up right away. They were selected for Cosmote’s three-month incubator project, in addition to being featured in the blogs of Business Insider and Designcrowd, and attended the Web Summit in Dublin and Webit Congress in Istanbul last autumn. For the cousins, however, it is their passion and sense of adventure which drives them to work on their app, incorporating what their users desire for a truly fun experience.
TizU is a free app for iOS which allows users to tease their friends with hidden messages – the user takes a photo of something interesting, adds text and the opening date, and picks the recipients. The blurred image is sent to the recipients with a countdown clock, and the image and message will only be revealed once the countdown clock reaches zero. This allows users to play with their friends’ curiousity, surprise them, or simply tease them as much as they like. The initial idea was of an app that would prove those instances of “I told you so!”, but the initial discussions brought up the larger idea behind that phrase: teasing.
Teasing, to Apostolis and Spiros, goes much deeper than being simply a childish game: it’s pure fun. As a social interaction, we tease our friends in school, the person we fall in love with, and the professor in class. We get teased if our sports team loses or if we take the wrong guess in a game. Teasing, arguably, makes life joyful and spontaneous – and it is upon this premise that tizU was built. TizU offers a fresh and intriguing way for users to have fun with their friends, and this is the source of creators’ passion behind the app.
While the cousins had no shortage of enthusiasm, they did lack financial resources when it came to actually executing their idea. However, they have so far managed to raise over 7000 Euros from friends and relatives, and the app could catch on. After all, it has the unique and genuine concept of hidden messages, is based on the basic human instinct of curiosity, and will be enhanced with Core gamification. TizU would also capitalize on the human need to have fun, which Apostolis argues is a permanent problem which most everyone deals with, regardless of age. His vision is that tizU will keep evolving, in order to hold users’ attention, a “continuously memorable experience”. After all, we already have so many apps to communicate with one another, so any new social app must be unique in order to succeed. TizU targets young adults (16 – 24) who are actively using social apps, but this will probably expand. The creators intend to target rapidly growing markets with smart phone penetration, but their active user base currently comes from the US, UK, Germany, France, and Greece. The next update would be to add in-app purchases and enhance the user experience, but it could easily evolve as an interesting tool for brand managers to target their audiences by teasing them. And ultimately, time and user preference will influence tizU’s evolution as much as anything else.
Visit http://www.tizu.co/ to tease your friends!